Post-Baby Weight Loss

Since this is a Mommy/Nutrition/Wellness blog I figured I should chat about my post-baby weight loss.  It’s something that all Moms have to deal with, for some it comes easy and for others it’s a challenge.  With my first pregnancy I gained close to 50lbs and it took me about 6 months to lose the weight. I did a lot of intense exercise and a very restrictive calorie diet. It really affected my overall self-confidence and I told myself I wouldn’t gain the same amount the second time around.  Additionally. all of the dieting and exercising affected my milk supply and therefore I was only able to breastfeed for the first 4 months.

With this pregnancy I gained 40lbs, which is actually the maximum amount I wanted to gain, figuring you’re pregnant for 40 weeks, which is about 1lb/week of weight gain.  I quickly lost the first 20lbs in the first 2 weeks so that meant only 20lbs to go to get back to my pre-pregnant weight.  Once I hit 6 weeks post-partum I started working out again which was really hard at first.  It’s amazing how quickly you can lose your stamina.  The only exercise I did with my first pregnancy was running up until I was about 6 months and then I pretty much lifted weights (but very inconsistently).  With this pregnancy I was very consistent lifting weights at least 5 times/week all the way until I delivered.  I also did a little bit of walking but I carried very low in this pregnancy so the pressure of the baby on my bladder was sometimes too much for me to walk more than a mile and running was completely out of the question.

Anyways, it’s important in maintaining your breast milk supply not to lose weight too quickly because calories are necessary in order to produce milk.  Additionally, breastfeeding alone is said to burn up to 500 Calories/day.  The additional exercise at 6-weeks post-partum helped me to lose the next 5lbs.  Then my birthday came and I kind of fell off the wagon and my weight loss came to a stand still for a few weeks.  I didn’t gain any weight but I was enjoying myself a little too much thanks to wine and desserts.  I decided to start creating a food diary through the app – My Fitness Pal.  This jumped me back into gear and I lost another 5lbs up until today.  Now I’m only 10lbs away from my pre-baby weight and let me tell you that the biggest motivator right now is fitting back into my favorite jeans once this weather turns a little cooler.  I have pretty much been wearing the same 6 outfits all summer long and I’m ready to wear some new clothes but without this weight loss I won’t be able to fit into those clothes.

I guess my biggest take away from this blog post is that there is no magic pill or diet that has helped me get to where I am today.  The hardest part is being patient with each week.  I have read that you do not want to lose more than 1.5lb/week to maintain your breast milk supply so that is what I have set my goal at since my baby is still my #1 priority.  I want to breastfeed for as long as I can while still getting back to my pre-baby shape.  I plan to update on this blog with my weight loss journey after I get to the next 5lb mark and hopefully I will continue to have the same success that I have l already had!

Pre-pregnancy Summer 2012

Pre-pregnancy Summer 2012

9 months pregnant with Ally (40lbs)

9 months pregnant with Ally (+40lbs)

6-weeks post-pregnancy (+20lbs)

6-weeks post-pregnancy (+20lbs)

Approximately 3-months post-pregnancy (+15lbs)

Approximately 3-months post-pregnancy (+15lbs)

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Approximately 4-months post-pregnancy (+10lbs)

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Baby Girl 4th Month

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Ally is now 4 months old and she has truly become a Daddy’s girl and her Mommy’s princess.  Life is still chaotic but I am doing better at taking it one day at a time. After all, it’s okay to order takeout on a random week day if there isn’t enough time to make dinner, or maybe bedtime is 830p instead of 8p a few nights a week for Bode, or the laundry basket is a mile high and no one has the time or energy to fold the clothes.  If you know me well you know that I am a perfectionist so these are not easy things for me to let go of but I have to remind myself amongst all this craziness, this is our life today and it’s only going to be temporary, and soon enough these kids are going to be grown and won’t need us to take care of them.  This month we were able to get on a little bit better of a ‘schedule’, nothing permanent day to day but it’s better than last month…

Sleeping/Feeding

I’m so proud to say Ally still gets 100% breast milk.  From here on out this is longer than I was able to provide Bode with breast milk.  While we did give Bode organic formula (the best we could provide him), there was always a small guilt I felt not being able to provide him breast milk his entire first year.  But they say every pregnancy and baby is different so I’ll take what I can get! We still have a little one that spits up a lot but I was reading that it should start to get better around 4 months and go away completely around 12 months so that’s very promising.  If you remember last month I got mastitis for the 2nd time this pregnancy and I was so worried about my supply and thankfully I didn’t lose anything.  Once I started taking the antibiotics I increased my daily water consumption and also took a few fenugreek pills to hopefully counterbalance the antibiotics. Either way, I still have my milk supply and we are still breastfeeding daily.  I also started doing more bottles a few days a week since eventually I’m going to go back to work and I’ll need Ally to be able to take a bottle when she is at daycare.  We had a few rough days where she refused the bottle but would nurse so we’ll continue giving her bottles when we can so she has a smooth transition.  I also started to notice her really noticing me anytime I’m eating food.  I’ll be feeding her while I’m eating (which happens pretty often) and she’ll stop what she’s doing just to watch me put food in my mouth.  While I would love to feed her solids early, the pediatrician is recommending I wait till 6 months because she is exclusively breastfed and the longer I can hold out the less likely it is she will get any food allergies or asthma if I wait till 6 months.  Oh and something new I learned that rice cereal is not recommended anymore because they have found arsenic in it so they would prefer the first grain be oatmeal or a mixed cereal, however I may actually start her on avocado because I’ve also heard that is a good ‘first food’ option.  I can’t believe we are already at that point in this first year of her life!

Sleeping this month has been so unpredictable.  Ally has gotten up anywhere from 1-3x/night over the past month.  I was so confused when this started happening because she at least had some 7-8 hour sleeps last month.  Then I went on the KellyMom website and found an article about 4-month olds. This is the age where babies start to be alert and curious about the world and will often be more distracted when eating.  Therefore they might eat less frequently during the day and then get up more in the evening to compensate for the poor eating patterns during the day.  And that is exactly what Ally is doing because she is completely distracted unless we are in a dark room and there isn’t any ‘big brother’ or lights (T.V. or ipad) to distract her.  Plus she seems to be doing more catnaps rather than real naps so I had to try and change that up by paying more attention to her feedings and get her sleeping in her crib during naps more often.  Additionally, we started CIO (cry-it-out) to get Ally to fall asleep for both naps and at nighttime.  I do still occasionally rock her to sleep but for the most part if I know she isn’t hungry and no gas, I will just let her CIO.  So far the longest CIO was 20 minutes but the majority of them are less than 10 minutes so she is getting good at putting herself to sleep.  I also got the ‘go ahead’ to start CIO at night, we are going to continue our 7pm bedtime and then a dream feed around 10pm (my bedtime) and then I am going to try to enforce CIO if she wakes up any time after the dream feed till 530am.  Wish me good luck!

Naptime has been getting much harder because she only wants to sleep in her bed (swaddled with white noise) or in the car seat after we’ve been driving around for a while (rocking her to sleep).  It’s getting hard to take her out places because she won’t necessarily sleep during dinnertime or when we are visiting friends or family.  She’s just so curious about her new surroundings that unless it’s a familiar sleeping place she refuses to sleep.  And she will fight it with lots of screaming and crankiness, my beautiful little stubborn princess!

Miscellaneous

At the wellness check-up everything looked good; she’s 12th percentile for weight at 12lb 6 ounces and 45th percentile for height at 24 ¼ inches.  The doctor was impressed with how active and alert she was at the appointment and she only cried during the actual shots but was fine afterwards.  We go back at 6-months for her next wellness check and I plan to get her ears pierced too as long as everything looks good!

I’m predicting now that Ally is going to be an early talker.  She just loves having chats with me and just lights up when I repeat the sounds she makes.  Bode even joins in on the conversations sometimes and it’s the cutest thing!  She still loves to chew on her hand so I think that we still have an early teether but no teeth yet.

I have forgotten to mention how much this little girl hates riding in the car.  If it’s not me putting her in the car seat it’s once I shut the door and we get on the road.  I have things for her to look at facing backwards but I think she feels like she is missing out on the action.  I feel awful for it but plan to keep her in her car seat facing backwards till she’s at least 2 years old so she’s got a long time to wait till she faces forward.

I feel like I’ve written a lot about all the things Ally dislikes so I figured I needed to mention something she loves – bath time.  It’s amazing how she can be in the worst mood, screaming hysterically, and you get her undressed and put her in the bath and she instantly calms down.  This makes me such a happy mommy because I always loved bath time with Bode when he was a baby and I can now do the same with Ally.  She loves looking at herself in the reflection and smiling at me too.  But the bath also makes her super hungry so as soon as I take her out it’s a race to get her dressed so we can feed right afterwards.

I’ve also had the opportunity to see her roll a few times now from her tummy to her back, and even once from her back to her tummy.  I finally got a video of it to show Matt so we are going to continue with the tummy time so she can get stronger and stronger.  This is very bittersweet because that means no more swaddling, but I guess its good timing with sleep training because we can do both transitions at the same time (hopefully).  Next physical milestone is sitting up on her own!

Wow I guess this was a pretty eventful month, I’ve also noticed how good she’s gotten at grasping things.  I have a few toys I bring with us whenever we leave the house and she loves to grab them and of course put them in her mouth.  She especially loves this little book that has crackle paper in it and makes noises.  I was always told girls are usually better at fine motor skills than boys but I can’t seem to remember what Bode was like with holding onto objects at this age.

Funny Moments

This little girl is a chatterbox; I get so many squeals, coos, and babbles all day long.  I think its way more than I remember from Bode and I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it because I hear girls are typically more talkative than boys.  The best part are the facial expressions that come along with all the talking, is as if she is really telling me a story about her day.  Bode talks A LOT now too so between the two of them there is a lot of noise going on in this house!

Diaper size – size 2

Clothing size – some 0-3 months, and 3-6 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squishy, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear, babygirl

4-Month Hair color – brown

4-Month eye color –blue

4-Month Weight – 12lb 6 ounces

4-Month Height – 24 ¼ inches

What’s up with Bode?

Bode has started pre-school and so far he seems to be doing well. He only just started last week so I’ll have more to say next month.  There’s a lot more stimulation going on day to day than when he was in daycare and most of the kids are older than him vs. most of the kids being a lot younger than him at daycare.  I think his overall communication is going to get better and he is going to use his words more often vs. just pointing at something and getting frustrated.  After week 1 I’m already realizing I need to feed him dinner right when he gets home or he gets to be really cranky.  Overall school has really adjusted our nightly routine but we seem to be handling it pretty well.  Like I said before, its only week 1 so we’ll see how the next month turns out.

Bode’s 3rd birthday is around the corner and I am so far loving this age, he still has his difficult times but for the most part he is so much fun.  I love hearing all of the new words and phrases that come out of his mouth.  I need to start writing down some of the things he says or maybe video him if he lets me!

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